Wildlife interpretation

Wildlife or historical interpretation – which is easier?

The grass does always look greener on the other side of the track. When I train wildlife interpreters they frequently complain that historical interpretation is so much easier because of ‘all those stories and characters that you have to work with’.  Well, yes, that’s true … Whereas historical interpreters moan that the wildlife interpreters have […]

Home: wild flowers and my roots

It is lovely, this work of helping people to be inspired by places. I work with marvellous historic, cultural and natural places and their stories and significances. I spend a very large proportion of my time being excited, enthusiastic, attentive, empathetic and absorbant.  Forging connections between people and place is great – and it can […]

Jargon-busting for writers: diving into ‘biodiversity’

Last week’s post highlighted why jargon-busting is important – especially when we set about communicating with people outside our closed circle.  Our jargon words, our secret language,  separate us and give us our mantle of authority and expertise.  It can be hard   to realise that that mantle is often is a barrier.  Good writing for non-specialists […]

Jargon-busting for writers: ‘ecology’

Last week, I  asked my workshop participants to tell me what makes for good writing for the public.  One of the things they all knew is that we must use familiar words. No jargon, they said. Abandon the technical and specialist language.  Do not use words that no one, who is not like us, understands. Yes, […]

Fun and games – powerful communicators in wildlife interpretation

Why do these flags fly at WWT Caerlaverock? What are they? Is that the flag of Norway? What’s going on? I am pretty sure that’s exactly why these flags are flying – to puzzle visitors, to set us thinking. Specifically to encourage us to ponder about places far away and how they connect with this […]

My top 10 places to see wildlife in the UK

The UK offers some absolutely great wildlife viewing experiences. That may surprise folk from bigger, less populated countries (of which there are many). In some ways it is a wonder that there are still spaces for wildlife among all the people, and that is a tribute to the many individuals and organisations who work to […]

Four great places to experience wildlife in Scotland

Scotland really values its wildlife as a tourism asset and has done for many years.  It aims to be one of the top wildlife tourism destinations in Europe and seems to be well on the way to that.  This makes a huge difference. Wildlife viewing sites are star-rated by the Scottish Tourist Board and Scottish […]

Four great places to experience wildlife in Australia

At our new and very exciting Creating Great Wildlife Viewing Experiences workshop last week we flagged up some case studies from our recent Australian trip that we thought were  particularly interesting in some way. 1. Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia This has been recently and somewhat controversially redesigned to create a more controlled experience that is less […]

NEW Revised guideline on telling people about seasonal wildlife!

Most trainers agree that we learn as much from our workshop participants as they learn from us.  In our new “Creating Great Wildlife Viewing Experiences’ workshop for  Forestry Commission Scotland, I learned I was wrong – not about everything, but one specific thing that I thought was a rule is nothing of the kind. So now, […]